Having good friends is considered one of the most valuable things in life by most people. However, not every friend is good.
Friends who communicate openly are good friends. Even when they think you may not like what they say, they usually tell the truth. In turn, you accept them as they are. Even when you disagree, you can trust them to respect your boundaries.
Whom to support. Good friendships also involve mutual support, so a good friend won’t just expect you to give them assistance. When they can, they also support you – even if all they can do is listen.
1. Less social isolation and loneliness
The impact of loneliness and social isolation on mental and physical health is on the rise in these days, and more and more people are feeling lonely. As a way of understanding the difference between isolation and loneliness, think of it this way: Friends help you avoid isolation, but good friends help prevent loneliness.
What does “lonely in a crowd” mean? Although you aren’t isolated, you can have many friends and still feel lonely. In the end, quality matters more than quantity. In the absence of meaningful friendships is often inadequate. If you don’t have anyone to confide in, you may feel lonely even if you have gaming buddies, coffee friends, and exercise partners.
2. Stress reduction
Stress is part of life for everyone. Small or large doses, no matter how minor they may seem at first, they can quickly pile up and overwhelm you.
Stress can also affect you in other ways, such as anxiety, depression, or irritability.
Think back to the last time you felt worried or upset. You may have discussed your concerns with a friend who listened to you vent and offered solutions.
3. Emotional support
You might consult your partner first if you are in a romantic relationship. This is perfectly normal, and a romantic partner can provide comfort and reassurance. But a romantic partner shouldn’t be the only support system in your life.
In addition to maintaining friendships with your partner, relationship experts generally recommend maintaining friendships with other people.
4. Personal development
You can maintain your resolve to practice healthier habits by keeping in touch with friends if you want to create positive change in your life. Having strong relationships may make you live longer.
Providing good examples is one of the ways in which friends can inspire you to change. Perhaps the recent decision of your best friend to stop smoking inspires you to quit as well.
5. Being a part of something
Our life has meaning when we know we matter to others. Maslow ranked belonging needs third on his hierarchy of needs, after basic needs (such as food and shelter) and safety needs.
Feelings of belonging are cultivated by developing and maintaining close friendships.
Life is more meaningful when we care about others. You take on the responsibility of providing compassion and emotional support to others when you care for them. This can make you a stronger, better person.
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6. Support during challenging times
We don’t always have it easy in life. Things can get really bad at times.
Occasionally, without warning, you might experience traumatic or difficult events that affect your emotional well-being, such as:
- Divorce or breakup
- Pet loss or death of a loved one
- Families have problems
Long-term mental health can be negatively impacted by any of these challenges. However, research suggests that having strong friendships can make it easier for you to cope with whatever life throws at you.
The study of more than 2,000 adolescents aged 14 to 24 found that friendship strongly predicted resilience, or the ability to bounce back after distressing experiences.
While family support contributed to immediate resilience in the study, friendship predicted greater resilience in later life, whereas family support